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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 02:11 PM
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At the dog park you could do a few things. If he is playing nicely at first and then gets too rough you could put him on a leash and hold him away from all the play. Keep him on the leash for about 30-60 seconds then release him. If he gets rough again put him on the leash again and again and again.
I would put a name to it like play nice, too rough.
So when you take him away from the play and clip his leash on you could say "too rough" every time he is taken away from the play.
After about 1-50 times of doing this, lol he will probably get it. I wouldn't expect him to get it after the first time going to the park.
But stay consistant and he will get that if he is naugty he has to be on the leash. And to be off leash he has to play nice.
It will be more exhosting for you then him.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 03:19 PM
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I was just wondering if he would do this with your other dog out of the picture. Does he display this behaviour when he's interacting with strange dogs alongside his bother? If so, see how he is on his own, without the moral support of his pal. It could be he's acting as part of a 'pack' i.e. one of a pair, in his interactions with other dogs. Just a thought.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by BUTTERSisMYmaster View Post
Beyond controlling their play at home, any further suggestions? Maybe tricks to try AT the dog park?
I work on recalls at the dog park. I have treats in my pocket. We walk together along the path. If they get too far ahead, I will call them. If they come (they do most of the time) they get a treat. I will also hide behind a tree and watch them to see what happens when they notice I am missing. They eventually turn around and look so worried. They look for me and when they find me, we hug and make a big deal out of it.

I will pretend I have fallen and watch proudly as they run up to me out of concern. I have taught my oldest Golden to stand still and allow me to lean on him to get off the ground. That is his job. I have fallen for real and he was right there nice and steady to balance against while I got my butt off the ground after falling on ice.

I will practice, "this way" and turn the direction of our walk. I will do this multiple times. It keeps their eyes on me.

I will practice "slow" with them --- -to teach them to stay with me and go slow when we are on a slippery slope.

When no one is there I sing to my hearts content. They love to hear me sing (at least I like to think so.) They wag their tails and trot along. There is another lady who is sometimes there with her Pomeranians. Four of them! She talks to them and skips with them. She doesn't know I have seen her, but I admire her for that. For ever I will love the lady with the Pomeranians who thinks she is all alone and is skipping with her pups in the woods. She makes me smile.

I am on to something big - - - this is the only way to be. My dogs are really happy dogs. They don't need to wrestle. Just sing to them. Be happy. Goldens love happy, happy, happy : )

I go on and on, don't I? The main point is I am at the dog park to exercise my dogs and bond with them. It is a wonderful opportunity (if you can avoid the out of control dogs with crazy owners who want to watch wrestlemania : )

Last edited by Marty's Mom; 01-04-2009 at 04:09 PM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 04:04 PM
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I am interested in this behavior as I am having a little problem with Lola she is 10 months old and I have had her 2 weeks now. She has bonded with me and is very attentive and loving but I am having aggression issues with her toward my DH who is the most patient and gentle man I know. He has spent time with her and she takes treats from him and he has spent time outdoors playing. When he gets up in the morning she barks and growls and then when we are just sitting around and he gets up she starts the same thing. She is very jumpy around his hands and the women I got her from said it was her husbands dog. DH is patient and trying real hard we even go out him first me second and then her. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Other than that Lola is the sweetest dog no aggression towards other dogs when I walk her.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 04:46 PM
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Personally, I dont let my dogs play with other dogs at the dog park unless I know the dog and the owner. I have been known to take my girls and leave if people dont have enough control over their dogs for me to feel comfortable. Not to say they dont have a right to be there, but I've been a few times where 2 people bring their 6 dogs and the one little one routinely tries to go after my dogs. Not all dogs should be allowed to "mingle" at a dog park and just because its an "off leash area" doesn't mean the dogs should all be allowed off leash. Whole other tirade though.

That said, to deal with the "aggression" that IMO isn't aggression at all: believe it or not, dogs that play like that are less likely to have an altercation with another dog than dogs that dont. There are a few different theories on to why that is, but it does seem to be the case. If you know the owner and the dog, I would let them wrestle to their hearts content, provided that both dogs are sound enough to endure the game. IMO, it really shows ignorance on the part of the dog owner that makes comments like "I thought goldens were supposed to be nice". I dont think people that make those sorts of comments understand dogs at all. Whole other issue though, but I do find it irriatating and offensive that people would tell you that or imply that your dog is "mean" because it plays rough (provided they're following the rules and both parties are enjoying it).

If it really becomes a problem, I would perhaps try and put your dogs on leash and do a down stay for a few minutes and remove the intense excitement. Another thing you might try is to call your dog away from the "group", reward and then allow the dog to return and play. This teaches them to be aware of you at all times and that they need to listen, even if they are having fun and that coming to you doesn't necessarily mean the end of the game. Good luck, BJ - Under Construction
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 05:54 PM
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If you feel the dog is getting too excited to be safe and fun, interrupting the play is probably the best medicine. Most rough play that gets out of hand doesn't become a real dog fight, but it also isn't necessarily polite to the other dogs and owners.

I'd probably limit the scolding and yelling, since it tends to confuse and excite the dog. Rather, I'd leave the dog alone while the playing was acceptable, and as it started to cross over into too excited, I'd gently get a hold of the dog and gently restrain him until he calmed down again.

Over time, he'll learn that the over-excited behavior leads to an interruption in playtime. You'll gently condition him to play in a way that's appropriate, since play that isn't gets interrupted. And that negative play won't have a chance to reinforce itself.

I've seen this work beautifully with puppies who get too excited at play. Yelling at them seems to energize, confuse, and upset them. Gently restraining them for a minute molds their behavior positively.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone... I am definitely going to use a few of these ideas the next time we are at the dog park or around other dogs.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 02:18 PM
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Hi, Ike is a rough and tumble pup too. I stopped taking him to the dog park for this reason and not trusting the other dogs there. The dogs in my extended family will not tolerate Ike's play. They give him a stern bark and he avoids them. He now has 2 friends that he can play with that match his rough play. Ike will easily stop with an 'all done' when we feel the play has gone on long enough and give them a breather.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-05-2009, 02:55 PM
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I know this all too well. We have Maggie who is almost 16 months old and is so calm and overally submissive, then there is Mya our other Golden who is almost 6 months old and when they play outside Mya shows teeth and growls as if shes going to attack but its just play. However I have the same problem where she does this to other dogs and it scares me because I am afraid that they may not see it as play. I tend to go over and get in between her and Maggie but she doesnt listen to well...and unless I lift up and remove her from the situation she keeps going. But I must say they dont do this in the house, only outside. I just need her to listen when I ask her to stop...shes not deaf, she just has selective hearing, lol...but yeah just wanted you to know that I understand and if you figure anything out let me know Good Luck!

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-06-2009, 02:04 AM
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Can you find him some playmates and have him get to know the dogs he can roughhouse with?

My three don't generally play with dogs at dog parks, they'll mingle but that's about it. I usually have a ball or something and they spend most of their time retrieving. They are fine with other dogs joining in, and have been known to go join other people and retrieve their balls/toys.

They play with each other, sometimes very rough, but they all have enough respect that a warning bark will stop them. If they go to the boarding kennel where I work they are let out with dogs of similar temperment etc. and they will play. They have their regular party pals there.

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